A plane for use by the Prime Minister and Royal Family has emerged from the hangar in which it was given a red, white and blue makeover.
The RAF Voyager, which was previously grey, was repainted at a cost to taxpayers of £900,000.
Labelled Boris Johnson’s “Brexit plane”, the jet was seen taking off from an airfield in Cambridgeshire.
The plane is seen by the Government as a tool to help fly the flag for Britain in trade talks following the country’s departure from the EU.
But many critics questioned why so much money was being spent on it at a time of national crisis, with some suggesting that it looked like something from Austin Powers.
When the spending was first revealed, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The RAF Voyager used by the royal family and the Prime Minister is currently in Cambridgeshire for pre-planned repainting.
“This will mean that the plane can better represent the UK around the world with national branding, similar to many other leaders’ planes, while also retaining its military air-to-air refuelling capability.”
Sky News showing footage of the PM’s Voyager taking off for the first time after its £900k paint job pic.twitter.com/BVnOCjMJYH
— John Stevens (@johnestevens) June 25, 2020
The spokesman defended the £900,000 cost, telling reporters: “That incorporates the cost of creating a design that will promote the UK around the world without compromising the plane’s vital military role.
“At every stage we have worked to ensure value for money for the UK taxpayer and all of the work has been undertaken in the UK, directly benefiting British suppliers.”
The SNP’s defence spokesperson Stewart McDonald condemned the spending, tweeting: “An utterly unacceptable use of public funds whilst members of the armed forces are spending their own money on uniforms and kit, and the equipment plan deficit is well into the billions for several years running.”
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